Milligrain: Tips from Sam


Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
Nov 6, 2006
Covington, Louisiana
There are untold numbers of Gravermaxes and Gravermachs used exclusively for millgraining in production shops. The reason is because, as Mike said, the millgrain can be produced with a single pass. Without the benefit of handpiece power, multiple passes are required. When doing multiple passes you run the risk of splitting beads in half if you're not careful...especially if you remove the tool to examine your work and then resume millgraining. I shorten my millgrain tools and then mount in QC holders. As they are, they're much longer than needed for handpiece use, especially under a microscope.

As Ron said, you should have a properly prepared edge or tracks for the tool to work its best. The sharp edge of your workpiece is a common place for millgraining. Cut a border near the edge to create a track for the edge of the millgrain wheel to run in. You can also millgrain between cut lines if you space them correctly. A bit of trial and error practicing is in order.

I've had limited success with millgraining steel. You will definitely shorten the life of your tools when doing so.

As D.Douglas said, beading tool can produce a super millgrain edge. I've done this in areas where it's impossible to maneuver a millgrain tool, but it's very slow. The results can be fantastic, though.

* Touch your millgrain tool to your graver lube for more efficient millgraining.*


Aug 23, 2015
Thank you Mr. Sam for your willingness to give us all your helpful instruction , GOD bless, Michael.
Feb 12, 2016
pittsburgh pa
Hi sam I am probably the newest new guy on the block. Now please don't take this the wrong way but I just might blow some smoke your way. I have been looking at gun engraving for as long as I can remember but never had the gull to make a real attempt to try my hand at it and who knows I might fail miserably at it. Had I not spent the better part of the past 2 days going over your work and your openness to help others I may have just passed it off as a bug bite on my hind quarters. So many thanks to you for helping me to make my mind up even tho you had no idea you were indeed helping

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